Caring for your Book Collection

General Care

Caring for your book collection will follow the basic rules of all libraries:

  • Food or drink should be banned from the area of the bookshelves.  Or from that room if you’re lucky enough to have an entire room for your library
  • No pens of any kind, pencils only for making notes (see markings on your books)
  • Keep unsupervised pets or small children out of the library area

Keep your bookshelves out of direct sunlight.  Also away from any sources of heat (fireplaces, heaters, open heating vents, southern walls)

Some tips from one of the countries best rare book dealer’s Bauman’s: https://www.baumanrarebooks.com/rare-book-collecting/references-and-resources.aspx

Shelving

Shelving your book collection is easily done.

  • Line them up so all the spines are about one inch from the front of the shelf
  • Put oversize books on their spines, not the fore-edges; or a number of them together on one shelf and laid flat

Dusting the books and the shelves annually is a very good idea.  After removing all the books on a shelf, wipe off the shelf  with a slightly damp cloth to pick up all the dust; do NOT use a furniture cleaner or wax!

To dust the books use a soft cloth, a soft-bristled brush, or a vacuum cleaner.  If using a cloth or brush, tip the top edge of the book toward the floor, squeeze the two covers tightly together, and gently wipe the top edges of the pages away from the spine.  If you use a vacuum, just make sure to cover the opening of the vacuum tool with two layers of pantyhose netting as this will cut down on the velocity considerably and help protect your collection

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